Amber Amperage

This is a photograph of a wooden stick conducting electricity. In order to induce a spark from the step-up transformer, one must either: i) decrease the distance between the two electrodes, ii) increase the voltage, or iii) let the voltage build up so that the potential difference becomes so great that the electrons are forced to utilize the air as a pathway to the other electrode. Electrons always seek the easiest path to complete a circuit or reach the ground. In this case, despite an insulator blocking them, the electrons have still found a path from one electrode to the other. Electrons were stripped from the atoms in the wooden stick to create a current and complete the circuit, thus conducting electricity. Lightning striking a telephone pole or tree would be another example of electrons seeking the path of least resistance to the ground. Due to a large build up of energy, lightning will strike the wooden telephone pole or tree even though it is an insulator, in order to get to the ground. Electrons are torn out of the orbits of the atoms of the telephone pole or tree and create a current that reaches the ground.

Alyssa Terminesi
St. Elizabeth Catholic High School, Thornhill, Ontario
2nd Prize ( High School Class Project Category )
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